Craving something sweet but don’t have time to bake? Look no further than lemon mug cake! This easy and delicious recipe comes together in minutes and takes just a few simple ingredients that you’re likely to have in your kitchen already. Enjoy a light and fluffy mug cake with a subtle, tangy lemon flavor in no time!
- Five Minute Dessert: From start to finish, this single serve cake takes less than five minutes to whip up!
- Single Serve Treat: Cake for one? Yes, please! This is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth without making an entire cake.
- Family Favorite: We’ve made many mug cakes, but this one is by far our favorite!
IF you are knew here there is something that you need to know. I am slightly obsessed with mug recipes. Something about a single serve cake that is ready in minutes makes me super happy. They take minimal ingredients, have the most incredibly light and fluffy texture, and are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
This lemon mug cake may very well be my favorite of all time. Heavily based on my vanilla mug cake recipe, which is a classic must-try, with the addition of bold citrus and a sweet and tangy glaze. You’ll be over the moon with the sweet and sour flavor combo that screams spring! Although, we’ll be making this all year long.
Mug Cake Ingredients
Reason number 974 of why I love this recipe? The ingredient list is short and basic. Almost everything is already on hand, like butter and sugar, with the only exception really being a fresh lemon!
- Butter: A tab of butter melted right in the mug you are planning to use. I like to use salted butter, but unsalted will work too! Just be sure to eliminate the added salt if you do decided to use salted butter.
- Sugar: Granulated, or white, sugar works best in this recipe.
- Lemon: For the best lemon flavor use both lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Milk: Whole milk is my go-to but we tested this with all percents with great success. I have not tested this with dairy free alternatives.
- Vanilla: A drop of vanilla extract helps to bring all of the flavors together.
- Self Rising Flour: Self rising flour already has a raising agent added in which eliminates the need for baking soda or baking powder. HOWEVER, I will include the measurements for all purpose so you don’t have to make a special purchase if you don’t already have the item on hand.
- Salt: Just a pinch, especially if you use unsalted butter, to help boost all of the flavors.
- Powdered Sugar: The secret to success is the glaze topping! Made with just a touch of lemon juice and powdered sugar.
How To Make Mug Cake
- PREP: Mist the inside of a mug with baking spray to help keep the cake from sticking to the inside as it cooks.
- MIX: Combine all of the ingredients into the mug and give a good stir with a fork or spatula.
- COOK: Microwave 45 seconds to 2 minutes, or until the cake has cooked fully. I check mine about 1 minute into the cooking time.
Something to note: Each microwave will be different due to the different wattages. They range from 600 to 1200 which means your microwave could take a little longer or cook quicker. My microwave is 950 watts and it takes me about 1 minute to cook this cake.
- Mug: This recipe doesn’t need anything fancy, you can actually use almost any mug. But I really love this mug set (affiliate).
- Mini Whisk: Mixing the batter fully is key to a good cake. I love these mini whisks (affiliate). I also use them for hot chocolate, carnation, and even whipping eggs for scrambles.
- Baking Spray: You can use cooking spray, like avocado or Pam, but we prefer a baking spray (affiliate). They leave little to no flavor and let the cake flavor shine.
Microwave cakes, or mug cakes, are individual serving sized cakes that are made entirely inside of a mug! In this case, it is cooked in the microwave making it a super speedy dessert.
This mug cake should not be chewy. After cooking you should have a light cake that is just slightly denser than the real thing. IF your cake is chewy the result is most likely due to overcooking.
This recipe will not require a large mug, however if you decide to double the recipe keep a close eye as it will rise over the top of your glass.
Swap the sprinkles for chocolate chips for a fun twist.
Serve topped with fresh berries and whipped cream (my favorite) for a quick treat.
This recipe is not oven safe. Please do not try to bake this recipe.
If your cake does not rise, be sure to check the expiration date of the baking powder and make sure it hasn’t passed.
No problem! You don’t need to purchase a special ingredient just for mug cakes. You can substitute 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
Yep. I prefer fresh squeezed juice for baked goods, but in a pinch bottled lemon juice will work just fine. You’ll miss out on some of the added citrus flavor by not using lemon zest, but you can always add in a dash of lemon extract.
Lemon Mug Cake Recipe
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup self rising flour*
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Cake
- Mist the inside of a mug with baking spray to help keep the cake from sticking to the inside as it cooks.
- Combine all of the ingredients into the mug and give a good stir with a fork or spatula.
- Microwave 45 seconds to 2 minutes, or until the cake has cooked fully. I check mine about 1 minute into the cooking time.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over your cake and enjoy!